Hydrodynamics and sediment transport in a meandering channel with a model axial-flow hydrokinetic turbine

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Abstract

An investigation into the interactions between a model axial-flow hydrokinetic turbine (rotor diameter, dT = 0.15 m) and the complex hydrodynamics and sediment transport processes within a meandering channel was carried out in the Outdoor StreamLab research facility at the University of Minnesota St. Anthony Falls Laboratory. This field-scale meandering stream with bulk flow and sediment discharge control provided a location for high spatiotemporally resolved measurements of bed and water surface elevations around the model turbine. The device was installed within an asymmetric, erodible channel cross section under migrating bed form and fixed outer bank conditions. A comparative analysis between velocity and topographic measurements, with and without the turbine installed, highlights the local and nonlocal features of the turbine-induced scour and deposition patterns. In particular, it shows how the cross-section geometry changes, how the bed form characteristics are altered, and how the mean flow field is distorted both upstream and downstream of the turbine. We further compare and discuss how current energy conversion deployments in meander regions would result in different interactions between the turbine operation and the local and nonlocal bathymetry compared to straight channels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)860-879
Number of pages20
JournalWater Resources Research
Volume52
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016

Keywords

  • axial-flow turbine
  • marine hydrokinetic
  • meandering channel
  • renewable energy
  • sediment transport

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